Table of Contents
Qualities to Become a Registered Nurse.
My Feelings on The Inherent Requirements.
Personal Enablers and Challenges.
Analysis and Evaluation..
Reflection is a process which one has been indulging in some form or the other throughout their lives. It deals with thinking and learning from one’s past experiences to avoid making the same mistakes and learning lesson from them, which leads to one’s personal development. Reflective practices are extremely necessary to perform in the healthcare field. It is expected of medical and nursing students to reflect upon their actions, build on their strengths and learn from their weaknesses so that they become better healthcare practitioners in future. Studies show that reflection improves learning from experience (Mann et al., 2009). Reflection helps health professionals develop self-directed learning skills, improve motivation and patient-care quality (Koshy et al., 2017). There are several things one can reflect on – complications in a case, errors in diagnosis, failure and also dissatisfaction of a patient. This does not imply that one must only reflect on the negative outcomes. By reflecting on positive outcomes can also be useful as well as rewarding.
To qualify as a registered nurse, one needs to possess certain inherent qualities. These requirements include – placement requirements, legal requirements, behavioural requirements, communicative requirements, cognitive requirements, sensory requirements and motor requirements. For this assignment, the three inherent requirements selected to be focused on are - communicative, behavioural and cognitive requirements.
Communication is a basic requirement in the nursing field. The ability to communicate accurately and respectfully helps foster fulfilling and trusting relationships. The aspects of communication include using appropriate English language listening and speaking skills, documentation of observations, writing and reading medical reports, maintaining records, interacting with individuals from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds, recognising and responding to environmental cues.
Certain cognitive skills need to be displayed by a future registered nurse. They need to be able to display skills involving critical analysis of information through various mediums, problem-solving skills, clinical reasoning, performing timely interventions, retention of procedures and information as well as the application of knowledge-based on physiology and anatomy accurately.
Behavioural responses, like communication, also help maintain relationships. The ability to show empathy and compassion, resilience, dealing with constructive criticism, effective emotion coping skills, self-awareness and providing with a caring and therapeutic environment to members belonging to different cultural backgrounds are some of the requirements that need to be possessed by nurses.
According to me, the inherent qualities required to be registered are relevant and applicable to the field. I agree with communication skills being important and I would have to work on my ability to communicate with the patient and the caregivers effectively to enhance their healthcare experience. Communicating effectively is paramount in patient care and helps develop the nurse-patient relationship (Tay, Ang & Hegney, 2012). The various cognitive as well as behavioural skills mentioned are also significant as, being a nurse involves thinking on your feet, being alert and aware as well as showing compassion to the patient party. Patients who require healthcare are distressed about their health conditions, to begin with. They look to nurses for reassurance and support. It is important to provide the patients with the same and make them feel safe and secure as they undergo a difficult phase. There may also be times when things can go wrong and patient care can be compromised due to say, a communication barrier or the inability to judge a situation correctly. In such cases, it becomes necessary to look back at the problems, think of proactive solutions and maintain a positive outlook for the future. As much as the task ahead seems daunting, I would like to adopt a hopeful and optimistic attitude.
Being aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses is an essential aspect of personal development. I understand the importance of reflection as a future nurse. Reflection enhances clinical reasoning while having a positive impact on patient care (Caldwell & Grobbel,2013). I am aware of the fact that I am capable of making mistakes and I will have to re-examine my decisions from time to time. I am capable of handling constructive criticism and willing to work on the problem areas. I understand that it will discipline me, empower me to provide me with the required insight to do better in future (Gilbert, 2001) Reflective practice will help with providing a more holistic approach to my training as, having technical knowledge isn’t everything (Ruch, 2005).
I believe that I possess strong communication skills and can easily connect with people. I am expressive and possess clarity of thoughts which I am capable of expressing without being ambiguous. I get along well with diverse groups of people and I think this will help me be a good nurse in future. As mentioned before, I am open to criticism and if there is a communication requirement that I am falling short of, I would be accepting of it and to the best of my abilities try to change it so that I am better equipped to help the patient.
As much as I am in favour of the idea of reflective practice and plan on practising it as a nurse, I understand that there are personal challenges which I will have to look into and work with. I get stressed easily under pressure and am prone to making common errors. I understand that this is not acceptable in the healthcare field and shall try to improve upon it.
Another challenge with the idea of reflective practice is the unhealthy focus on the idea of ‘self’ (Mann and Walsh, 2013). Reflection is a subjective and personal experience. Sometimes, despite doing everything right, things do end up going wrong. As much as how everyone has the scope of learning and growing, sometimes, things do go wrong despite doing everything right. It does not have to mean that the "self" is a fault - the errors of others get in the way too. In cases like this, reflective practices are not of much help. There may be instances where I am reflecting on something that does more harm than good. I will have to be mindful of identifying such events and making sure that they do not affect me mentally and interfere with my work.
I am aware that the idea of reflective practice is challenging. There are many obstacles to successfully integrate it into daily living. It is a time-consuming and tedious process – which means most people give up because they do not see immediate results.
This is where, I'd like to believe, I'm different from others. I learn from my mistakes and try to do better each day. I have benefitted from reflective practice personally and I am sure it will aid in my professional growth as well. It is through continuous practice that one improves. Reflective practice, if done well, can greatly improve one’s skills as a health care provider (Koshy et al., 2017)
When you motivate yourself and are open to learning, you not only improve professionally but personally as well. I wholeheartedly believe that all of us are eternal students and should be open to absorbing any form of knowledge that we come across. Reflection is only learned through trial and error. However, it should be backed by willingness, honesty, openness and a desire to change(Smith, 2016).
Based on the above concerns, I would like to incorporate certain steps that will help facilitate the process of reflective thinking. I would like to maintain a daily journal and write about all the pleasant and unpleasant experiences that occurred throughout the day. Once I have everything written down, it will help me visualise better, analyse the skills that are working for me versus the ones that are not and require change. Keeping a reflective journal helps relate the theory with practical and integrates interpersonal, intrapersonal, cognitive, emotive and personal aspects of themselves (Bruno & Dell’ Aversana, 2017).
Having brainstorming sessions with my peers and mentors is another effective technique which I feel would help me. There may be instances where I overlook or do not acknowledge something. During these times, a fresh perspective of someone who is in a similar line of work would be helpful.
Taking time out every day for active reflection seems like a lot of work, but it is doable. It will require a high level of commitment, but it is necessary for progress and self-development. This strategy, with time, would help me immensely.
Like any other profession, the work of a registered nurse comes with its own set of challenges and requirements. However, I am sure that with the right attitude I would be able to succeed in my chosen field of expertise. Not only that, I would like to come up with ways to integrate reflective thinking into my daily routine so that it becomes a habit and it helps me not become too comfortable or overconfident with myself. Indulging in reflective practice would help me do justice to my work and provide me with the scope to work upon areas that require adjustments. I am sure with time, I will succeed.
Bruno, A., & Dell’Aversana, G. (2016). Reflective Practice for Psychology Students: The Use of Reflective Journal Feedback in Higher Education. Psychology Learning & Teaching, 16(2), 248–260. https://doi.org/10.1177/1475725716686288
Caldwell, L., & Grobbel, C. C. (2013). The importance of reflective practice in nursing. International Journal of Caring in Sciences, 6(3), 319. https://doaj.org/article/18f6bcac3a004ea3a03c44a5a371e5a7
Gilbert, T. (2001). Reflective practice and clinical supervision: meticulous rituals of the confessional. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 36(2), 199–205. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2648.2001.01960.x
Koshy, K., Limb, C., Gundogan, B., Whitehurst, K., & Jafree, D. J. (2017). Reflective practice in health care and how to reflect effectively. International Journal of Surgery Oncology, 2(6), e20. https://doi.org/10.1097/ij9.0000000000000020
Mann, K., Gordon, J., & MacLeod, A. (2009). Reflection and reflective practice in health professions education: a systematic review. Advances in Health Sciences Education, 14(4), 595–621. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10459-007-9090-2
Mann, S., & Walsh, S. (2013). RP or ‘RIP’: A critical perspective on reflective practice. Applied Linguistics Review, 4(2), 291–315. https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2013-0013
Ruch, G. (2005). Relationship-based practice and reflective practice: holistic approaches to contemporary child care social work. Child Family Social Work, 10(2), 111–123. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2206.2005.00359.x
Tay, L. H., Ang, E., & Hegney, D. (2012). Nurses’ perceptions of the barriers in effective communication with inpatient cancer adults in Singapore. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 21(17–18), 2647–2658. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2702.2011.03977.x
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